The people curse him who holds back grain,
but a blessing is on the head of him who sells it.
The crime here is not merely that one is a miser, but that he withholds what is needed for survival. He is not even being asked to give, but to sell. Instead he hordes the grain, perhaps to run up the price; perhaps he is fearful of not having enough for himself. His one concern is for himself, and he is willing for others to suffer. The one who sells is blessed for giving others fair opportunity to buy or earn what is needed. He is a good neighbor, a businessman who cares about his community.
We too should strive to be fair, to give others a fair chance of earning their way. Sometimes someone just needs a helping hand, sometimes a second chance to prove himself, and we have the means to help. As with the previous proverbs, we are called to be persons who do not hold back what we have to give and to bless others.
Think also of our Lord’s generosity:
“Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food” (Isaiah 55:1-2).
© 2022 Tenth Presbyterian Church.
Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in its entirety or in unaltered excerpts, as long as you do not charge a fee. For Internet posting, please use only unaltered excerpts (not the content in its entirety) and provide a hyperlink to this page. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by Tenth Presbyterian Church.
Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By D. Marion Clark. © 2022 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org